Romania is a unique country full of surprises. It’s located in southeastern Europe and definitely worth a visit. No matter if you’re passionate about history, traditions, beautiful sceneries or dynamic cities still in development – you simply have to visit Romania.
In some places, the simple, authentic lifestyle is still being preserved. People are still getting around by a horse carriage, they cultivate their own food and breed animals. Like in many other European countries, people are moving from the rural area to the cities, therefore accentuating the big contrast between those two areas.
We both were born here, but Deian left the country when he was only ten months old to live with his parents in Germany. Alina, on the other hand, grew up in Romania, after communism had been eradicated and changes could be observed with the naked eye. When he was still young, Deian visited his home country yearly and stayed with his grandparents. He isn’t a stranger in this country.
The first visit in Romania
Growing up, we started becoming more aware of the country we lived in and wanted to explore it more and more. If you visit Romania for the first time, don’t limit yourself to the big cities or the capital, Bucharest. Yes, you’ll find a great nightlife in the major cities, but you won’t be able to experience the real Romania. Spend around two or three days in the city you chose; then, take a train, rent a car or use a ride-sharing website to explore the counties surrounding you.
Do make sure that you’re prepared for the bumpy ride. Romania’s infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired and delays are the norm, not the exception. If you adore the sea, visit wild beaches and spend a few days in the Danube Delta. Prefer the mountain? Spend at least two weeks here, because this country has a lot of idyllic areas to offer where you will simply never want to leave. Even the level areas are beautiful and some are pretty undiscovered by tourists. Try to find a place to stay through Airbnb, Couchsurfing, monasteries or simply stay with locals. Spend some time with Romanians, find out about their culture and ask them about places to visit that are not touristy.
Food, drinks and people in Romania
Vegans will not be as easily pleased because outside of the vegan restaurants, your options are highly limited (ask Deian, he knows). During Easter, vegans have it a bit easier, because most restaurants offer vegan options. Ask for the option de post, to be sure. If you like to cook, buy fresh ingredients and visit bio supermarkets that have vegan products.
We recommend vegans and vegetarians to visit big cities because there, you have more options. If you decide to visit the rural area, make some provisions.
Beware of vegetable cheese because not all are 100 percent vegan. Read the inscription on the back and make sure that it doesn’t contain any lactose. Desserts are also tricky because, even in the fasting season, they usually contain honey. Always ask if honey was used, even if people say that they’re vegan. If you drink coffee, ask for soy or coconut milk, even if you have to pay extra.
Freshly brewed coffee, tasty ice-cream and other healthy food — this is what we chose to eat during our three day stay, wandering through a lot of restaurants in the city Oradea.
A walk along the river Crișul Repede is a must if you find yourselves in the city Oradea. Get lost in the historic city centre, go to the theatre and spend some time with the locals.
Questions and answers about Romania
Where is Romania?
Romania is located in Eastern Europe, neighbouring countries like Hungary, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Moldova.
What are popular holiday destinations in Romania?
Romanians like to visit the sea and the mountains, especially Mamaia and Poiana Brasov.
Is a holiday to Romania cheap?
It definitely can be. There are cheap flights from all over Europe now and thanks to Airbnb, you can book a room or apartment for weeks or months and affordable prices.
Is a gay holiday in Romania possible?
Romania is, as many other former communist countries, not very gay-friendly. According to ILGA-Europe, the gay-friendly index is only around 21 percent, much worse than in countries like Croatia or Greece. Still, there is seldom any violence against gay people in Romania and, apart from some odd looks, nobody should feel afraid. We recommend, however, to stay in Bucharest as a gay couple because there is more to do. You can, for example, visit Queens Club, the only gay club in town; there are also some special parties organised in Control Club.
What is Romania famous for?
Besides Dracula, a figure mostly created by Bram Stoker, Romania is also famous for its untouched nature and traditions. As we’ve already said on this page, visit the rural area and meet locals to experience Romania from its authentic side.